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How Detailed Should Species Descriptions Be?

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It is possible to provide readers with just a single paragraph to describe each species in summary.  Though a well-worded paragraph may provide clues for what to look for in the field, it may not cover some important details necessary to distinguish the species from other similar species.  I've opted to provide readers with a little more than the minimum.  Many  species exhibit highly variable morphology, so care must also be taken to cover the full range of variation.  The species descriptions herein are also intended to supplement statements that are found in keys provided on this website.

Characteristics that are highlighted in yellow may be especially helpful in distinguishing between other similar species.  Items not highlighted may be useful to know, but not sufficient for determining what is unique about the particular species being described.  For example, the presence of basal leaves at flowering may be relevant, but since so many other species have basal leaves at flowering, that character would not be highlighted.

Readers requiring additional details may wish to consult a more technical reference.

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Copyright Arieh Tal, http://botphoto.com, 2016